While preparing for this reflection, my Aunt Ciony (Mom’s youngest sister) posted a table on Facebook showing how the Apostles died. The table showed the name of the apostles, and on the opposite side, the manner of their deaths. It’s interesting to note that, except for St. John the Beloved, all of them died by execution and hence, martyrdom. From St. Peter, who asked to be crucified upside down, in respect to the Savior’s crucifixion, up to St. Thaddeus, who was stoned, all of them gladly gave up their lives for the faith. Their deaths were brutal, characteristic of the times they lived. They were not alone: many followed their footsteps, including our very own Filipino saints, St. Lorenzo Ruiz and St. Pedro Calungsod. Even up to now, my hair always stand on end, recalling the intense love our honored saints have for our Savior Jesus Christ, that their lives are worth giving up, to gain eternity. Moments after I shared that table on my wall, my nephew Ariel commented:
Code Of Champions postcards by Jocelyn Cantes
Be true to yourself and your principles. Remain humble in spite of your achievements in life. You are someone who people look up to and admire, someone of great influence to others. Having that genuine care for your constituents is a stepping stone in building strong connections with them. Give utmost unconditional love & care and these actions will reciprocate to you from your peers and loved ones. People will remember you for what you’ve done to them through your actions, just like the saying, “actions speak louder than words.”
Principles and Values were instilled since your childhood and are continuously being formed during adulthood. Generation to generation, blood to blood, these are being passed on to build one’s character, to hone one’s personality. For who you are today, you are defined by the principles and values that you live by through your experiences and beliefs. What principles and values will you inspire others to stand up for?
Gospel Mark 4:26-34 (Memorial of St John Bosco)